Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort hosted the “Fierce, Fearless and Unforgettable” Senior Presents event for the National Charity League's Santa Barbara Chapter, honoring the class of 2014 Senior Ticktockers, daughters and mothers serving communities together by donating time to local nonprofits.
“This year I encouraged our Ticktockers and Patronesses to ‘Build Connections for Life,’” said Lana McIntyre, chapter president. “To commit to their jobs and leadership responsibilities, to participate in planned cultural experiences, and to make lasting connections with our philanthropies. I am so proud of the Santa Barbara chapter.”
Volunteerism is a major component of the program where mother and daughter bond as partners in community building and share a common vision of serving and enriching the lives Santa Barbara County residents.
The graduating seniors of 2014 along with their mothers gave 5,856 hours over their six years with the National Charity League to local nonprofits in Santa Barbara, including the American Cancer Society, CADA, Direct Relief, Special Olympics, hte Storyteller Children’s Center and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
“Through National Charity League, they have had the opportunity to work with over 19 different philanthropies throughout the Santa Barbara area, individually and with their mothers,” McIntyre said.
As the main entree was served, the seniors took to the runway modeling the latest fashions donated by local retailers. Confident and posed, the young ladies enchanted the crowd of onlookers as they twirled and posed, adorned in colorful dresses, trendy hats and scarves.
After the fashion show and a brief costume change, the beautiful and talented starlets were introduced one-by-one and reappeared on stage dressed in an array of stunning floor-length gowns.
Exuding confidence, they shined under the hue of a single spotlight, holding a single red rose while a pre-recorded message from each participant aired in the background.
Each youth expressed her favorite mother-and-daughter memories, future aspirations, gratitude and love for family members, as well as admiration of fellow Ticktockers and compassion for their respective volunteer efforts. Photos of their life experiences from infancy to adulthood flashed behind them on two large projector screens.
At the end of the presentation, the Ticktockers walked to the end of the runway, where they were greeted warmly by their parents and escorted off stage.
The senior presentations of each individual Ticktocker represents the culmination of each young lady’s dedication and commitment over the last six years and are an opportunity for the girls to share how these experiences have shaped their lives while being recognized for their service.
“We believe the NCL experience has the ability to change lives by inspiring and empowering young women to succeed as confident, well-rounded and socially aware contributors in our communities,” McIntyre said.
Following a special thank you to senior presentation chairs Luann Caesar and Ann Marquis, McIntyre introduced the Senior Service Award winner, Milana Skiff.
“Over the last six years, she has accumulated 935 volunteer hours; 218 hours were completed side by side with her mother. She will tell you about some of her favorite places to work,” McIntyre said.
"The Oncology Department at Cottage Hospital is my favorite place to volunteer,” Skiff said. “I love it, and everyone there is so kind. It's a good experience for me. Because of it I will pursue a career as an oncologist in college.
“I volunteer every Sunday in the Oncology Department at Cottage Hospital, where my mom has been an oncology nurse for 23 years. Some of the nurses there have known me since the day I was born. I love everything about volunteering there.”
Fathers of the seniors had a chance to express their support and love as well during a heartwarming father and daughter dance on stage to the tune “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw.
The National Charity League of Santa Barbara began in 1962 as an organization comprised of mothers and daughters working together in four ways: philanthropically, educationally, culturally and developing leadership skills.
The local chapter members donate their time only and do not raise funds to assist the charities where each mother and daughter member is required to fulfill a minimum of both league and philanthropy hours and community service.
“National Charity League has really provided my daughter Tessa and I with some great experiences,” mother Jane Carey told Noozhawk during the event. “We have formed a lot of valuable friendships while giving to others in our community. During the teen years, it is often not easy to get a daughter to spend time with her mom! But we have had some incredible 'bonding' times while volunteering or participating in cultural experiences.”
Each Ticktocker also participates in an educational program to learn the board position and leadership skills of running a proper business meeting, practice time-management tools, and learn to communicate effectively while speaking in public, and practice diplomacy in working together on projects.
Skiff closed her award acceptance speech with a quote from Maya Angelou that captured the heart of the local chapter NCL and the message of giving back and bonding: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.